You can't stumble around the Internet these days without bumping into it. News, rumor, speculation, and hot gossip about -- no, not David Letterman's love life (who knew he had one?) or the Jon and Kate Gosselin train wreck -- tablet PCs.
Yes, over the last year the PC's buck-toothed, developmentally challenged second cousin from the sticks has become an Internet darling.
[ Back in the realm of real products, Cringely asks: Where oh where is that 8-hour laptop? | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
As the New York Times' Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance so aptly summarize:
Tablets have been around in various forms for two decades, thus far delivering little other than memorable failure. Nonetheless, the new batch of devices has gripped the imagination of tech executives, bloggers and gadget hounds, who are projecting their wildest dreams onto these literal blank slates.
The Times reports Apple has been working on a tablet PC since 2003 -- or about as long as Steve Jobs has been publicly dissing the concept. (Jobs' alleged one-sentence dismissal: "What are these things good for besides surfing the Web on the toilet?")
No matter. Every week brings more "details" about an Apple tablet that Apple claims to know nothing about. A former Newton marketing weasel pro rejoins Apple, and it's yet another sign that the iPad will soon appear, borne aloft by angels next January or possibly February or maybe March.